Carlos Cordeiro Resigns as US Soccer President After USWNT Protest

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2020

CARSON, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Christen Press #20 of the United States receives the Scotiabank Golden Ball Award from Carlos Cordeiro, president of US Soccer, after the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Final at Dignity Health Sports Park against  Canada on February 9, 2020 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The head of the U.S. Soccer Federation, Carlos Cordeiro, is stepping down one day after the women's national team protested the use of sexist and misogynistic language in a legal filing that defended paying the USWNT less than the men's national team.

Carlos Cordeiro @CACSoccer

It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the President of U.S. Soccer. My one and only mission has always been to do what is best for our Federation. After discussions with the Board of Directors, I have decided to step down, effective immediately. My full statement: https://t.co/4B7siuIqcL

Cordeiro has served as president of U.S. Soccer since February 2018 and has worked for the federation for the past 13 years. 

Lawyers for U.S. Soccer argued, among other items, that the women's team isn't as skilled and doesn't play as demanding a schedule as its male counterpart. Additionally, one section of the filing was titled "WNT and MNT Players Do Not Perform Equal Work Requiring Equal Skill, Effort, and Responsibility Under Similar Working Conditions."

The USWNT strongly opposed the language, protested the filing by wearing its warm-ups inside out on Wednesday and later bashed the arguments in postgame interviews after winning the 2020 SheBelieves Cup. 

An apology from Cordeiro on Wednesday night didn't appear to appease many within the federation or its sponsors

In his resignation letter, Cordeiro touted his accomplishments—such as landing the 2026 Men's World Cup—before commenting on the lawsuit. 

"The arguments and language contained in this week's legal filing caused great offense and pain, especially to our extraordinary Women's National Team players who deserve better," Cordeiro wrote. "It was unacceptable and inexcusable."

Additionally, Cordeiro noted he did not have a "opportunity" to fully review the filing before it was submitted. He said he would have objected to that language had he seen it. 

"I will always treasure the many weeks that I spent with our Women's National Team players during the World Cup in France and I'm thankful for their friendship," Cordeiro concluded. "As U.S. Soccer moves ahead with its defense against the lawsuit by the team, I hope that our remarkable women's players are always treated with the dignity, respect and admiration they truly deserve."